James Murren
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Volunteering and Gravity Heights

The Earning

Is there a better way to earn your beer than by volunteering for local outdoor events? San Diego Mountain Bike Association (SDMBA) held its annual Archipelago Ride, a fundraiser event for the local mountain biking community.

the earning

I had the task of greeting and cheering people as they finished the ride with the strenuous climb up Lopez Canyon and then directing them down the road to Gravity Heights, a local brewery hosting the post-ride festivities. Watching people as they smiled and high-fived — or grimaced and gritted their teeth in the last push up Lopez — reminded me that when it comes to long rides, we never know what the experience is going to be when out on the trail. Assisting riders was very satisfying in knowing they accomplished their goal for the day and were then on their way to celebrate it.

When asked what the volunteer experience means to others, Ryan McBurney, the volunteer coordinator for the Archipelago Ride, said: “Volunteering for SDMBA’s large events like the Archipelago Ride and Trail Fest gives me a chance to meet some great people, reconnect with riding buddies, support SDMBA and be a part of an awesome community.”


The Beer

the beer

Gravity Heights in San Diego provided the beer for the Archipelago Ride. On tap were Rice Cold Lager (4.5% ABV), a Japanese-style lager that is brewed with 40% rice. Daybreak IPA (7.2% ABV) was also on tap, a West Coast IPA.

Gravity Heights cofounder and brewmaster Skip Virgilio rode the full Arch (approximately 48 miles with some 5,000 feet of climbing). When asked about his experience on the trail and why Gravity Heights supports the local mountain biking scene, Virgilio said:

“The climb right out of the gate at La Costa and Elfin Forest were brutal. The rest went mostly smoothly all the way to the finish. During the event Gravity Heights was able to support SDMBA and we all got an awesome location for a party!”

gravity heights

The next time you’re in San Diego, make a point to check out Gravity Heights for grog and grub. They are conveniently located a couple of blocks from the Lopez Canyon trailhead.



Read other Earn Your Beer columns here.